Sunday, May 5, 2019

REVIEW: 'Dead to Me' - Jen Struggles to Find the Right Way to Honor Her Husband on His Birthday in 'It's All My Fault'

Netflix's Dead to Me - Episode 1.03 "It's All My Fault"

On what would have been her husband's 50th birthday, Jen clashes with her disapproving mother-in-law over the best way to mark the occasion.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Dead to Me.

"It's All My Fault" was written by Anthony King and directed by Abe Sylvia

How was Ted as a husband and father? The audience doesn't get to see him in those roles to make a firm determination for ourselves. Instead, all we have are the memories and grief being experienced by everyone following his death. There is a tendency to only remember the good things. Judy can never forget that she actually killed him with her car. That's always at the forefront of her mind. It's enough for her to breakdown in the bathroom over the kindness she is trying to extend to Jen, Charlie and Henry. She wants to be there for them through this grueling and challenging time. She sees that as the least she can do in the hopes of adding something positive to their lives. It's still absolutely twisted. Steve continues to call her out for how she's basically begging to get caught. They split up because of this issue as well. He may understand that it was rash and unnecessary to file a restraining order against her. And yet, he has lived in denial about what happened during that fateful night. He wants to believe that they hit a deer and they should never think about it again. Meanwhile, Judy can't stop thinking about it. It's all that consumes her mind. It's enough to make her proclaim her guilt to the police when the detectives come asking questions about the car Jen just vandalized. Jen sees it as her new best friend having her back and supporting her no matter what. Judy may see it as some kind of justice for her past actions. She wants to apologize but is still aware of just how destructive that act could be. It could ruin the bond she has with Jen and her family. Sure, that has already been ruined by this major secret. She is keeping it within herself. She can only share it with Steve. That may be enough to reignite the spark between them. But it may not be the support that Jen needs in this moment. She is realizing just how imperfect her marriage actually was. She is trying to be strong for her sons. She sees them as needing her more than ever before. She is constantly belittled by her mother-in-law, Lorna, who believes Ted was a saint of a father while Jen is an absolute monster as a mother. This episode explains that Ted woke up his children each morning and played video games with Charlie. Those are the only examples given as to his skills as a father. That seems so simple and basic. It doesn't account for everything that must have happened within this household. Parenting is more than just the easy stuff. The family is just choosing to remember the good instead of the bad. Of course, Lorna is more than willing to use that as a weapon to take down the daughter-in-law who she believes isn't respecting how she is mourning the loss of her only son. Jen just sees Lorna as a massive narcissist. And yes, that may actually be the case. However, the tension explodes between them as well. It means that Lorna isn't there to release the balloons full of messages out into the universe to hopefully make their way to Ted in heaven. It's a beautiful sentiment. It's Jen trying new things in the hopes of finding a better way to connect with the world following this tragedy. And yet, every action she takes in order to provide that for her family only brings her closer to the brutal and awful truth. No, she doesn't learn about Jen's involvement in the hit-and-run. But she does learn that Ted was having an affair. That will be just as brutal moving forward.